Facials, foot spas and lollies
Sam Clark, 38, Beaconsfield, Vic
Pictured above with her twin daughters.
Knowing 2010 would be the year my twin girls Ashlee and Emma turned 10, I wanted to do something special. So when I saw an ad in the paper for pamper parties, I knew I'd found the perfect idea.
Calling up, I wanted to know what was provided. 'Everything except food,' I was told. That included the lolly bags filled with nail polishes, candles, feather boas, foot spas and bathrobes.
So in June, 11 little girls arrived at our house. From the moment they put on their pink robes, they couldn't stop smiling. 'This is the best party ever,' Emma said, soaking her feet in a foot spa. As the party continued, I knew I'd done the right thing. And all the reports from parents were positive.
I do think kids are growing up faster these days, but with all the technology and media it would be hard for them not to. But rather than ignore it, I've decide to embrace it and besides, I don't think a little pampering can ever be a bad thing!
Shevonne Matthews, 28, Berwick, Vic
When I was growing up, birthday parties were always a big deal. Mum would do whatever she could to surprise and spoil me and my two sisters. It was her way of showing how much she loved us. I wonder what Mum's got planned this year, I'd think.
So when I grew up, it felt natural to move into event management. I started my own business, Vonevents, in 2006 and specialised in children's parties.
While I hosted pirate, pop star and fairy parties, by far the most popular is the day-spa party. For two hours, we pamper little girls and treat them like princesses.
This includes a lavender footbath, a cocoa facial and a pedicure. All of which is topped off with a glass of bubbly. Bubbly soft drink that is.
We play games like pass the parcel, with make-up treats inside. And we get the girls to write nice little notes to the birthday girl. It might sound quite extravagant, but it's not price wise. The parties cost the same as a jumping castle.
'My daughter felt so special and grown-up,' a happy mum said after one party.
And while some people might think it's a bad thing, I see it as a bit of fun. When I was young I wanted to be just like my mum. I'd dress up in her clothes and pretend to be her.
These little girls are doing the same. They see their mums getting their nails done and they want that too.
And nothing at the party is inappropriate. I go through all the magazines and music to make sure there aren't any naughty song lyrics. Plus, a big focus of the party is about what's inside and caring for yourself. That's why we get the girls to write nice things to each other.
Today my parties are growing more popular. I was completely booked out for the school holidays and spent most of my weekends pampering little kids! And when my daughter Sienna, one, is old enough, you can bet I'll be throwing her a day-spa party. I can't think of a better way to make her feel special, relaxed and loved.
The mighty tweens
A tween is a child aged eight to 12. 'In terms of responsibility, children are staying younger for longer,' child psychologist Niki Kemp says of this age group. 'But when it comes to extravagance, children are growing up faster because their parents are more prosperous than the generation before.'
Kemp believes this is neither a good or bad thing. 'What's important is that children are taught strong values and principles, clear boundaries are set and that they are brought up in a loving and supporting environment.'
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